Strategies for Dealing with Toxic People – 2 articles

Strategies for Dealing with Toxic People – Zen Habits

toxicBy Leo Babauta – zen habits : breathe

Are there people who constantly criticize you, tell you that you can’t do things, make you feel bad about yourself, even yell at you?  These are toxic people.

Dealing with them is never easy, but it’s such a difficult problem that it’s worth looking at some strategies you might consider. I was reminded of this problem by a reader recently, who asked, “What if toxic people are my family? How do I shut them out? What if I can’t find the courage to rise above them?”  

I have to confess, there aren’t any easy answers. I’ve used a number of strategies in my life, and I’ll share what I’ve tried:

  1. Practice self-compassion when you’re feeling bad. This is always my first step these days, as I’ve learned how useful this method is. Think about it: if you’re feeling bad because of someone else’s behavior, you might show your anger or irritation in your actions and words, and that only makes that person more likely to be toxic. Your bad feelings are not only horrible for you, but for the situation. So try this when you notice you’re feeling bad from someone else’s actions/words: turn inward and notice your feelings, instead of avoiding them. What do they feel like in your body? After a minute, try creating a feeling of love towards yourself. Wish yourself happiness, and an end to your suffering. Wish yourself a life of joy and peacefulness. This won’t magically cure the pain, but it’s a good place to start.
  2. Talk to other people. I’ve found that when I’m hurting, I often don’t want to admit it to other people, but then when I talk to someone about it, I inevitably feel better. So take the plunge and talk to someone. Share your feelings, ask for them to listen, maybe even give advice. The advice doesn’t matter so much as the connection and listening.
  3. Practice empathy and compassion. Try practicing the same compassion method towards the person who frustrates you. In your heart, wish them happiness. See that they’re also going through difficulties, like you are, and that’s why they act that way. Wish for an end to their suffering. Wish them a life of joy and ease.
  4. Talk to the toxic person. Once you start to feel more compassionate towards the other person, talk to them. Yes, they might not act in a compassionate and peaceful way towards you, but you can be the better person. You can see that they’re suffering in some way, and are acting inappropriately because of that suffering. Try connecting with them, sharing that you’re having a hard time, asking for their support. This might not always turn out well, but if you do it in a spirit of connection, they might be open to this discussion.
  5. Model the behavior you want to see. Often I get mad at other people for getting mad at me, and then I’m doing the same thing they are, behaving badly because they behaved badly. Even if I feel it’s their fault, my behavior escalates the situation. So I try to show how to deal with frustration, try to be compassionate with them, try to show a positive way of dealing with things. And often that can have a great effect, even if it’s not immediate.
  6. Find more positive friends. If all of this isn’t working, it helps to find other people who are more aligned with the way you want to live. People who are creative, entrepreneurial, self-sufficient, excited about things, positive, healthy, happy. Find them in your local running club, yoga or crossfit class, Toastmasters, volunteer organizations. Find them online in various positive communities. Take the plunge and reach out, develop relationships. Buy someone tea or coffee and start a friendship. One by one, nurture the relationships that have a positive influence in your life, and be a positive influence in theirs. I’ve done this in my life, and it’s made a huge difference.
  7. Cut them out. It’s a harsh thing, but when family members aren’t supportive of me, if they’re constantly critical and angry … and none of the above works … I will just stop seeing them as much. I’ll do my own thing. See other friends. That’s harder to do, of course, when they live with you, but even then you can go out for a run, take a hike and see nature, meditate, create. Don’t let the thinking about toxic people be the thing you focus on all day — put your mind in more peaceful, creative, positive places.

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How to Save Yourself from Toxic People – wikiHow

Three Parts:Recognizing Toxic PeopleDealing With Toxic PeopleSaving Yourself

You’re in the best of moods. Your day is going great. Suddenly, you feel sapped of energy and your spirits are down in the dumps. Why? You might have just encountered someone who has a bad attitude, one that’s cast a spell over your mood. Learning to identify and avoid these types of toxic personalities can help you stay positive. Learn to take control of your own life.

 Read more: http://www.wikihow.com/Save-Yourself-from-Toxic-People

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Comments

  • De castro  On September 12, 2015 at 4:45 am

    Wonderful
    submissions by Guyanese Online
    Inspirational read.
    Thanks Sir Cyril Lord of Guyana’s freedom of expression

    Your contribution to educating Guyanese wherever they reside your legacy.

    RESPECT! Keep it flowing my friend.
    Thanks
    Kamtan

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On September 12, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    This is exactly the issue I’m dealing with in my second novel in progress: living and working with a toxic person in an remote jungle region with no escape. Thanks for the insights, Sir Cyril.

  • Deen  On September 20, 2015 at 11:21 am

    There appears to be much more negative elements in our life today, especially with the media, politics, society and the environment. These contagious contacts challenge the sinews our positive posture and living. Like any toxicity, I try to treat toxic people the same way I would treat a toxic environment…..try to find remedies, but certainly avoid the surroundings.
    Life is too short to waste it away with toxic and negative people.

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